Pokemon trainer clubs, which are currently being used by young people in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have been on the rise, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Key points:The trend of trainers taking up jobs as virtual currency has been growing for yearsIn 2016, the number of Pokemon trainers in Australia was at just under 12,000According to the latest data, there are now around 2.6 million active Pokemon trainersAustralia has a large population of Pokemon fans and a thriving community of Pokemon Go players who are now taking on new roles in the virtual currency, which allows users to earn coins through gameplay.
“I am going to be doing an event in Melbourne, I am going on a Pokémon trainer tour and I will be travelling around Australia,” said a 25-year-old Perth-based trainer.
“It’s going to happen in a couple of weeks,” he added.
“And the idea is to see where I am.”
While the number in Australia has been rising, there is still a long way to go to the national average of about 2.2 million.
There are currently 2.5 million active Pokémon trainers, the bureau found, with the majority of those working in the hospitality and tourism industry.
But some of the more popular job postings are also in the tourism sector, including on hospitality workers and bartenders, which has been a popular way to earn a living in Australia.
“People are getting into the business of being trainers, and they’re finding a niche that’s not necessarily a physical job,” said Dr Mark Evans, a lecturer in tourism and hospitality at Monash University.
“You can get into the tourism industry by doing travel photography and then as you get more experience you can start doing some real-life things, like actually helping people, and so people are starting to look at it as a way of making a living.”‘
It’s about getting the best bang for the buck’A large proportion of the trainers on offer are making up their own jobs, including in cafes, bars and restaurants.
“There’s also an opportunity to earn in the real world, like working as a chef, working in a restaurant, in a gym, working as an event planner, just working as people who like to work with people,” said the researcher.
Dr Evans also said the trend is being fuelled by social media.
“This is a really important thing to keep in mind, because people are coming in and they are finding it’s about becoming a trainer,” he said.
“They’re just finding the opportunity to be a trainer, but they’re also finding there’s something to be gained in the world.”
Dr Evans said there was a growing trend in people becoming virtual currency holders, with one in three people using the service to make a quick buck in the last year.
“We’ve been seeing a growing number of people who are doing this, who are taking it upon themselves to make money, so they’re not just using it to pay their rent or their utility bill, but actually to make their own money and it’s a way to be part of the community,” he explained.
“That’s a really positive thing.”
The number of trainers in the US and the UK is also growing, but the trend for Pokemon trainers has slowed.
The US has about 1.5m active Pokemon trainer jobs, while the UK has around 900,000, according the latest available data from The Association for Computing Machinery.
In Australia, there were just under 2.8 million active trainers in August, down from 3.5million in the same month last year, according data from Pokemon Go Australia.
Dr Smith said the popularity of Pokemon GO has been on a steady rise in Australia for years.
“When you look at the Pokemon GO phenomenon in Australia it’s been on an incredible rise,” he told Al Jazeera.
“From around 2015 to 2017, there’s been an amazing increase in the number and number of users.
We’ve seen a huge increase in activity in that space.”‘
This is the way I make my living’Dr Evans is now running his own Pokemon Go club in Perth, using his own money to help people.
“My job is just to help out people in need, I’m not a trainer so I can’t really really do anything, but I do make my money,” he recalled.
“So I’ve been able to do some amazing things.”
Pokemon Go Australia’s CEO, Sam Smith, said he would be happy to help a fellow Pokemon Go player earn money through the game.
“In Australia there’s a lot of Pokemon that are quite rare, so it’s really hard to earn money in Pokemon Go, but it’s the way we make our living,” he admitted.
“If someone wants to help someone, or if someone’s just looking for a good job, we’d be happy for them to come in and we’d give them a bit of advice on how to get started.”Pokemon